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Arts group to take supporters on Route 66


Brookings S.D. (KELO AM) - The road to an entertaining night for supporting the arts at South Dakota State University ends on Eleventh Street in Brookings, but it takes Route 66 to reach the destination.

The 10th annual fundraiser for Design and Visual Arts Group Inc. (DVAGI) is at the Performing Arts Center on 11th Street, west of the intersection with 16th Avenue, on Saturday, Nov. 23.

This year's theme is "Come Get Your Kicks on Route 66," from the popular song first recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole to celebrate the freedom of automobile travel along the 2,450-mile highway from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Route 66 doesn't come anywhere close to Brookings, but attendees Saturday should still feel that slice of Americana through the menu, decorations and music, according Jane Hegland, associate dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences and one of DVAGI's founders.

The Performing Arts Council diner will be serving up Route 66 meatloaf bites, smoked gouda mac-n-cheese, BBQ sliders and ice cream floats.

Entertainment will be bluesy, rock music by Nick Schmeichel, a Brookings resident whose day job is president of Sideline Productions, a broadcasting and media production rental company.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The silent auction runs from 5:30 to 6:50 p.m. followed by the live auction at 7 p.m. SDSU faculty, students, and local professional artists have donated 30 pieces artwork and design services for the silent auction and another 10 for the live auction. Jonathan Larsen of Larsen and Larsen Auction Co. will serve as the auctioneer and master of ceremonies. 

Tickets are $50 apiece, or four for $150. To purchase tickets in advance, call 688-4333 or email dvagi.org@gmail.com. 

Hegland said DVAGI fundraisers have raised $100,000 to provide professional development scholarships for students in the majors of apparel merchandising, fine arts, interior design, landscape architecture, graphic design and visual arts. 

Through DVAGI's efforts, students have studied in such places as New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago as well as Italy, England, South Africa, Australia and Turkey.

Matt James, an assistant professor in landscape architecture, said, "Most recently DVAGI scholarships helped fund student attendance at a national landscape architecture conference in Athens, Ga. "It essential that students are exposed to travel studies and these DVAGI scholarships make it so much more accessible."